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SEMA Council & Network News: Best Pricing Practices Highlighted at MPMC Open Meeting

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No matter what niche you're in—rods, restoration, racing, restyling, trucks or wheels and tires—there’s a SEMA council or professional network that's right for your company. SEMA councils and networks offer members a variety of market-specific programs and activities designed to provide educational and networking opportunities while promoting their particular industry segment.


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Best Pricing Practices Highlighted at MPMC Open Meeting

MPMC members attending the annual PWA conference are encouraged to join the council for a general membership meeting, Sunday, September 11, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Garden Grove, California. Attendees will discuss the latest council initiatives and touch base before a busy fall and winter season for the motorsports industry. Select Committee members will be on-site to discuss upcoming opportunities to volunteer at MPMC events.

This meeting will also feature a special guest—attorney Gene Zelek. Zelek is a partner with Freeborn & Peters, and he focuses on marketing law, with an emphasis on pricing and channel management. This includes lawful resale price setting, differentiated pricing and distribution and retail relationships for a wide variety of well-known companies in diverse industrial and consumer industries, including the automotive aftermarket. For more than 20 years, he has helped design, implement and enforce more than 190 successful minimum resale price (MRP) and minimum advertised price (MAP) policies.  

Zelek will host a Q&A session with meeting attendees on many of these topics that are relevant to MPMC’s manufacturer membership.

The meeting will be held Sunday, September 11, at 2:00 p.m. (PDT) at the Hilton Garden Inn, Garden Room A&B, located at 11777 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove, California. To RSVP, email Jim Skelly at


Last Call for MPMC Media Trade Conference Manufacturer Registration

The Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) Media Trade Conference is a truly unique event that brings together editorial staff from all over the world with racing and high-performance parts manufacturers for three days of face-to-face, 30-minute meetings. Nowhere else do manufacturers have the opportunity to meet with automotive editors in as many as 42 in-person meetings.

Exhibitor registration for the 2017 MPMC Media Trade Conference closes September 5, 2016. Only 100 spots are available, and participants will be chosen using a random number lottery system. Manufacturers who submitted an application but were not selected for the 2016 event are automatically guaranteed a spot in the 2017 event if they submit a new application by the September 5, 2016, deadline. Exhibitor selection is available only for MPMC-member companies. The 2017 Media Trade Conference will be January 24–26 at the Embassy Suites Orange County Airport North.

Media Registration will open in October 2016. For media inquiries, contact Della Domingo at or 909-978-6723.

Not an MPMC member? Join today. MPMC members must manufacture parts used in sanctioned motorsports events, and all applications for membership are subject to review.

For general or exhibitor inquiries, contact Lindsay Bianco at, 909-978-6692.

Register now!  

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TORAThe TORA Media Preview is a unique opportunity for truck accessory manufacturers to meet face-to-face with editors and reporters, making contacts and introducing new products without sacrificing valuable floor time with buyers.

TORA Media Preview—Last Call for Exhibitor Applications

The Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA) is accepting media applications for the 2016 Media Preview event until September 5. The event will take place Monday, October 31, prior to the opening of the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

This event is a unique opportunity for truck accessory manufacturers to meet face-to-face with editors and reporters, making contacts and introducing new products without sacrificing valuable floor time with buyers. Each manufacturer participant is selected from the application pool by lottery to set up temporary exhibit space within the Media Center. Throughout the four-hour event, the manufacturers can show samples and answer questions about their products.

Each manufacturer participant is selected from the application pool by a lottery-style process to set up temporary exhibit space within the Media Center. The application period runs until September 9.

Apply now to exhibit at the 2016 TORA Media Preview event.

For more information, contact Allan Keefe at 909-978-6696. For more information about attending as a member of the media, contact Della Domingo at, 909-978-6723.

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Kris Horton
Kris Horton on Next-Gen Vehicle Design

Kris Horton creates life-like computer renderings of custom vehicles by combining state-of-the-art technology with his creative inspirations. He’s a Ford Design Award winner and has contributed to numerous SEMA Show project builds. He’s taken the time to tell us a little bit more about exactly what it is he does, and how SEMA has changed his business.

Can you tell us a little bit about the process you take when developing a rendering? Are there any rituals in your process to get inspired?

I always say that I’m not very “artsy-fartsy,” as one of my favorite instructors used to put it. I don’t have a specific process for getting inspired, and as cliché as it may sound, I believe that an artist should be able to be inspired by anything and everything around them. Listening to music is probably one of the best ways I can clear my head and focus, but sometimes it takes going for a walk or a swim to get my head in the mood to work on a particular project.
When working with a client, I try to get a list of likes and dislikes together early on to work with. Some clients come to me with a clear-cut idea of what they want and they just want to see it visualized. Some come to me with a vague idea and ask for my advice on various aspects of the build. It’s always different from one person to the other, and it keeps things fun and interesting. Some of my regular clients (typically shops building multiple cars) and I have a shorthand where they can say “the usual door handles, the one color we used on that one car, and these wheels,” which is awesome. From that point on, I develop a 3D wireframe model of the car for the client, and over the course of the project, I customize it and add the details that make it unique to their build. The finished product is a nice polished rendering that will hopefully be an accurate representation of what they plan to build.
Is there friendly competition with the “pen and pad” guys? Are there any artists on the scene who inspire you?
When I first started in the business, I thought it was a competition (friendly, or otherwise), and soon realized something that’s really great about what we do: everyone’s taste is different and there is an artist out there for everyone. I was 20 when I started doing renderings professionally and can remember always taking it personally when a potential customer would decide to use another artist. That changed after a little while as I realized I wasn’t always necessarily the best fit for what the client was looking for. I also have a tremendous amount of respect for the traditional artists. I’m a huge fan of Tavis Highlander, Brian Stupski, Gary Ragle and Sean Smith’s works. They’ve brought a great deal of style to the custom-car scene and produce some beautiful work. I always look forward to seeing their work brought to life by some of the awesome shops they work with.
What does the SEMA Show mean to you, being a person whose business essentially revolves around projects for the Show?
The SEMA Show has had a tremendous impact on my life, both personally and professionally. The first time I attended the Show was in 2003 because I had designed a truck for Bully Dog Technologies. They were kind enough to have me out and that trip really hooked me. The next year, my dad and I built a Chevelle for the Show because I thought it would be the coolest thing to have a car in the Show. Seven projects later, and I still think it’s pretty awesome having a car featured at the SEMA Show. It comes with all kinds of stress, late nights and blown budgets, but no matter how much we say “I’m not doing that again,” we always do it again the next year. The SEMA Show itself is always a wonderful opportunity to see industry friends and colleagues who we don’t get to see very often. We all lead busy lives and have busy careers, but it seems that one constant for many of us is the first week of November ever year.
Can you describe what it feels like being able to walk the Show and see all of the projects to which you have contributed?
It’s a truly awesome feeling knowing that a group of people have been working months (sometimes years) on something I helped design, but it’s even better getting to see it in person. I love taking time to talk with the builders and see how they interpreted things in my designs and translated them into metal. In fact, a few times I’ve walked by a car at the Show, stopped, and realized it was a car I had designed some time ago. That’s always fun, getting to see something I didn’t expect to see at all.
Is there any industry advice you would give to 18-year-old Kris Horton?
“Buckle up, dude, it’s going to be a fun ride. It won’t always be easy and you won’t always feel like it’s all worth it, but in the end, you wouldn’t trade what you do for anything.”
I’d lead with that anyway, because it’s absolutely true. I would also tell him that building strong, lasting relationships is vital to surviving in the business. While it’s a large industry, it exists in a very small world. Everyone knows everyone it seems, and there are very few degrees of separation between any of us, especially those of us who have been around for a decade or more. I would advise him to be careful of which bridges he burns, but not to avoid doing so altogether. Sometimes you simply need to cut ties and avoid people/companies that affect you in negative ways. Always look at it objectively and make sure you’re not creating bad blood with anyone though. I’m guilty of it—I believe we all have been at some point or another—and it’s a tough lesson to learn, but it is an important one.
I’d also tell him to take care to communicate well with clients. Frankly, I’d tell myself that at any age because it’s something I continue to work on to this very day. Being able to communicate with your clients is hands-down the most important skill a designer can have outside of actual artistic ability. The better you communicate with them, the less time you spend trying to interpret things and the quicker you arrive at a successful finished product.
Oh, and lastly, I’d say, “Don’t get cocky, kid.”

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